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washing silk

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  • Perseus85@aol.com
    I ve never washed silk in hot water before, not even when dyeing. But is it okay to do so? I need to remove color from a silk habotai so I can dye it a
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 1, 2008
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      I've never washed silk in hot water before, not even when dyeing. But is it okay to do so? I need to remove color from a silk habotai so I can dye it a different color and the dye remover requires hot water. Thanks.




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • jehanni2
      ...
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 1, 2008
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        --- In LOTR_Costume@yahoogroups.com, Perseus85@... wrote:
        << I've never washed silk in hot water before, not even when dyeing.
        But is it okay to do so? I need to remove color from a silk habotai
        so I can dye it a different color and the dye remover requires hot
        water. Thanks.>>

        I find removing color from fabric trickier than dyeing, for a number
        of reasons--so your results may not be what you're expecting.
        I'd start with a couple questions to more fully size up the situation:

        <i>First, what color is it that you need to remove?</i>
        For instance, if it's navy, and you want lemon yellow, you're likely
        to be disappointed whatever you do. And if it's blush, and you want
        royal purple, you don't need to strip the current color, because the
        new one will simply overwhelm it. I assume you've already done this
        step, and determined that you do, in fact, need to remove the color--
        but I mention it for the audience's sake. ;-)

        <i>Second, do you know how "fast" the current color is?</i>
        Some dyes are very colorfast, some are not. Some run in cold water,
        some in "hot." If you haven't yet determined if the dye runs, wet a
        corner with cold-to-room temperature water, and place on a plain
        paper towel. If dye comes off, you may be able to just rinse out some
        or most of the color. If "cold" water doesn't work, test again with
        warm-to-hot water (not boiling). If there's "bleed," first soak the
        fabric, rinse thoroughly, and dry. Then reassess what color you have,
        and need to achieve.
        You might also consider using the "Dye Magnet"
        product as a quick way to soak up transient color--it's a sheet
        (currently branded Woolite Dye Magnet, I think) that you toss into a
        washload to absorb excess dye from fabrics that do bleed. If your
        habotai's not very colorfast, it may do what you need.

        <i>Third, how hot is "hot?"</i>
        Many people assume hot is "boiling" or "simmering." Often, it's just
        the degree of warmth you're comfortable in a shower or hot-tub
        (around 105 degrees F). Check the package directions. The tale of how
        silk was discovered involves dropping silk worm cocoons into hot tea,
        so it's likely your silk fiber has in the past been processesed in
        hot water. Whether that will tighten the fiber now, and change the
        hand of the fabric, varies with a number of factors. Excessive heat
        will weaken the fiber, but remember silk is often ironed. Most
        washing instructions I've seen recommend lukewarm to cool water, but
        it's not clear if the gating factor is the fiber or the dye.

        I have not myself washed/soaked silk in hot water, but my gut is that
        plain habotai (not a fancy brocade or specialty weave) might stand up
        to such treatement fine.

        <i>Fourth, is this yardage or a garment?</i>
        Garments may be sewn with different threads than silk (and the
        htreads will take and release dye differently than the silk--maybe
        more, maybe not at all), and may have interfacings and places where
        the fabric is tightly stitched that might not surrender color with
        the same evenness as free-floating yardage. On the other hand,
        yardage may have sizing, sun exposure, or other not-so-noticeable
        flaws that discharging the current color may reveal.

        Un-dyeing, or discharging color, is an experiment. Try it and see
        what you learn.
      • Perseus85@aol.com
        First, what color is it that you need to remove? The color it is now is lavender/periwinkle and needs to go to a camel or khaki color. Second, do you
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 1, 2008
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          <i>First, what color is it that you need to remove?</i>
          The color it is now is lavender/periwinkle and needs to go to a camel or khaki color.


          <i>Second, do you know how "fast" the current color is?</i>
          I dyed the habotai myself using RIT dye using periwinkle dye. So if anyone knows how colorfast their stuff is. . . I don't but I am assuming it isn't too great of quality given how inexpensive it is. I could be wrong though.



          <i>Third, how hot is "hot?"</i>
          It doesn't say on the outside. It only says "made for fabrics that can be washed in hot water". I had not thought about how the chinese princess came across silk by dropping it in hot tea. . .so that makes me feel a lot better about it.



          <i>Fourth, is this yardage or a garment?</i>
          It's simple yardage. I wouldn't dream of attempting it with a finished costume!


          Thanks so much for all the information. i think i am ready to start the experiment. I think if I can get it down to a light enough shade it won't be an issue. what's wrong with a tiny purple hint anyways!









          -----Original Message-----
          From: jehanni2 <jehanni2@...>
          To: LOTR_Costume@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 2:05 pm
          Subject: [LR_Cos] Re: washing silk

























          --- In LOTR_Costume@yahoogroups.com, Perseus85@... wrote:

          << I've never washed silk in hot water before, not even when dyeing.

          But is it okay to do so? I need to remove color from a silk habotai

          so I can dye it a different color and the dye remover requires hot

          water. Thanks.>>



          I find removing color from fabric trickier than dyeing, for a number

          of reasons--so your results may not be what you're expecting.

          I'd start with a couple questions to more fully size up the situation:



          <i>First, what color is it that you need to remove?</i>

          For instance, if it's navy, and you want lemon yellow, you're likely

          to be disappointed whatever you do. And if it's blush, and you want

          royal purple, you don't need to strip the current color, because the

          new one will simply overwhelm it. I assume you've already done this

          step, and determined that you do, in fact, need to remove the color--

          but I mention it for the audience's sake. ;-)



          <i>Second, do you know how "fast" the current color is?</i>

          Some dyes are very colorfast, some are not. Some run in cold water,

          some in "hot." If you haven't yet determined if the dye runs, wet a

          corner with cold-to-room temperature water, and place on a plain

          paper towel. If dye comes off, you may be able to just rinse out some

          or most of the color. If "cold" water doesn't work, test again with

          warm-to-hot water (not boiling). If there's "bleed," first soak the

          fabric, rinse thoroughly, and dry. Then reassess what color you have,

          and need to achieve.

          You might also consider using the "Dye Magnet"

          product as a quick way to soak up transient color--it's a sheet

          (currently branded Woolite Dye Magnet, I think) that you toss into a

          washload to absorb excess dye from fabrics that do bleed. If your

          habotai's not very colorfast, it may do what you need.



          <i>Third, how hot is "hot?"</i>

          Many people assume hot is "boiling" or "simmering." Often, it's just

          the degree of warmth you're comfortable in a shower or hot-tub

          (around 105 degrees F). Check the package directions. The tale of how

          silk was discovered involves dropping silk worm cocoons into hot tea,

          so it's likely your silk fiber has in the past been processesed in

          hot water. Whether that will tighten the fiber now, and change the

          hand of the fabric, varies with a number of factors. Excessive heat

          will weaken the fiber, but remember silk is often ironed. Most

          washing instructions I've seen recommend lukewarm to cool water, but

          it's not clear if the gating factor is the fiber or the dye.



          I have not myself washed/soaked silk in hot water, but my gut is that

          plain habotai (not a fancy brocade or specialty weave) might stand up

          to such treatement fine.



          <i>Fourth, is this yardage or a garment?</i>

          Garments may be sewn with different threads than silk (and the

          htreads will take and release dye differently than the silk--maybe

          more, maybe not at all), and may have interfacings and places where

          the fabric is tightly stitched that might not surrender color with

          the same evenness as free-floating yardage. On the other hand,

          yardage may have sizing, sun exposure, or other not-so-noticeable

          flaws that discharging the current color may reveal.



          Un-dyeing, or discharging color, is an experiment. Try it and see

          what you learn.






















          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • mellymel_hsv
          Hot water (as in however hot your washing machine will get) is perfectly fine for silks. The only time I ve had a problem with washing silk was when there was
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 1, 2008
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            Hot water (as in however hot your washing machine will get) is perfectly fine for silks. The only time I've had a problem with washing silk was when there was a metallic fiber in the mix. It takes much more of a beating than most people give it credit for.

            As for discharging the color, all I can say is good luck. I certainly haven't had much luck with discharging color myself, but my experience is limited and only on rayon fibers. I used boiling water on those with no ill effects.

            Mel


            ---------------------------------
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          • jehanni2
            ... I dyed the habotai myself using RIT dye using periwinkle dye. So if anyone knows how colorfast their stuff is. . . I don t but I am assuming it
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 3, 2008
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              --- In LOTR_Costume@yahoogroups.com, Perseus85@... wrote:

              <snip> I dyed the habotai myself using RIT dye using periwinkle dye.
              So if anyone knows how colorfast their stuff is. . . I don't but I am
              assuming it isn't too great of quality given how inexpensive it is. <snip>

              RIT is an "all purpose" blend of several different kinds of dye, with
              the theory that some of it will stick to something. It's meant for
              craft and hobby projects, not for museum reproductions, or objects you
              intend to last a hundred years--of course, if you've seen
              hundred-year-old textiles, you know not every color stands up to a
              century of use and sunlight equally. RIT's not alone, or even the worst.

              RIT tends not to be as colorfast as, say, Procion MX dyes are on
              cotton--but it might be more colorfast than you want. RIT's color
              remover product (which sounds like what you're working with) should
              work on RIT dye jobs as well as it work on anything, since it's
              probably formulated by the same people as blended the dye. :-)

              Have fun playing--and I whole-heartedly agree with your closing
              comment: what's a tinge of periwinkle between friends?
            • Perseus85@aol.com
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 4, 2008
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                <<RIT is an "all purpose" blend of several different kinds of dye, with






                the theory that some of it will stick to something. It's meant for

                craft and hobby projects, not for museum reproductions, or objects you

                intend to last a hundred years--of course, if you've seen

                hundred-year-old textiles, you know not every color stands up to a

                century of use and sunlight equally. RIT's not alone, or even the worst.>>

                That's good to know. Yeah, I kinda found it out myself a bit the other night when i wanted to test washing the silk in hot water. A good bit of color came out. So that makes me happy. It's funny though, the more I think about it, the more I want a silk linen blend for this jacket. I also plan on using procion dyes or something a lot more colorfast for this coat, as it won't be a costume, but an actual jacket I will wear day to day.


                <<Have fun playing--and I whole-heartedly agree with your closing

                comment: what's a tinge of periwinkle between friends?>>

                :)




















                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • faye
                ... other night when i wanted to test washing the silk in hot water. A good bit of color came out. So that makes me happy. It s funny though, the more I think
                Message 7 of 16 , Apr 7, 2008
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                  > That's good to know. Yeah, I kinda found it out myself a bit the
                  other night when i wanted to test washing the silk in hot water. A good
                  bit of color came out. So that makes me happy. It's funny though, the
                  more I think about it, the more I want a silk linen blend for this
                  jacket. I also plan on using procion dyes or something a lot more
                  colorfast for this coat, as it won't be a costume, but an actual jacket
                  I will wear day to day.


                  I've used Ritz for several items and I've been very satisfied with the
                  results. I used it for linen and cotton. Once it was set, I've not
                  had it bleed onto anything else in the wash (cold only, hand dry).

                  The only important thing is to keep the soak agitated the whole time,
                  otherwise you get an uneven coverage.

                  faye
                  www.simbelmyne.us
                • darth_eagle
                  ... other night when i wanted to test washing the silk in hot water. A good bit of color came out. Personally, from my lack of experience washing Silk in Hot
                  Message 8 of 16 , Apr 7, 2008
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                    Perseus85@... wrote:
                    > That's good to know. Yeah, I kinda found it out myself a bit the
                    other night when i wanted to test washing the silk in hot water. A
                    good bit of color came out.


                    Personally, from my lack of experience washing Silk in Hot water, I
                    know that Hot Water is "okay" for the Silk but not for the color.
                    =__=

                    Some time back, when my family still using the European Drum Type
                    Washing Machine I accidentally dumped my Silk Outfit inside to wash.

                    2 Washing Cycles, 2-3 Rinsing Cycles and the Spinning Cycle later,
                    my Silk outfit looks like it had been left in the sun for months or
                    bleached out. *__* The bright purple and golden colors had dull
                    tremendously and even run into the other color in the motif.
                    (FYI, these types of Washing Machine uses Hot water under its
                    regular washing cycle; the Temperature Dial is only for special Wash
                    Cycle I think like for Wool, Silk etc)

                    Fatimah
                  • Toker, Sue (US SSA)
                    I would just add my usual advice. Pre-wet in water the fabric you want to dye. It helps keep the dye more even instead of latching onto the first dry parts
                    Message 9 of 16 , Apr 7, 2008
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                      I would just add my usual advice. Pre-wet in water the fabric you want
                      to dye. It helps keep the dye more even instead of latching onto the
                      first dry parts of the fabric that hit the dye bath. This, alond with
                      stiring/agitating will help keep the color even.



                      Susan



                      _____

                      From: LOTR_Costume@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LOTR_Costume@yahoogroups.com]
                      On Behalf Of faye
                      Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 12:05 PM
                      To: LOTR_Costume@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [LR_Cos] Re: washing silk & linen dye



                      > That's good to know. Yeah, I kinda found it out myself a bit the
                      other night when i wanted to test washing the silk in hot water. A good
                      bit of color came out. So that makes me happy. It's funny though, the
                      more I think about it, the more I want a silk linen blend for this
                      jacket. I also plan on using procion dyes or something a lot more
                      colorfast for this coat, as it won't be a costume, but an actual jacket
                      I will wear day to day.

                      I've used Ritz for several items and I've been very satisfied with the
                      results. I used it for linen and cotton. Once it was set, I've not
                      had it bleed onto anything else in the wash (cold only, hand dry).

                      The only important thing is to keep the soak agitated the whole time,
                      otherwise you get an uneven coverage.

                      faye
                      www.simbelmyne.us





                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • mellymel_hsv
                      ... other night when i wanted to test washing the silk in hot water. A good bit of color came out. Personally, from my lack of experience washing Silk in Hot
                      Message 10 of 16 , Apr 8, 2008
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                        darth_eagle <darth_eagle@...> wrote: Perseus85@... wrote:
                        > That's good to know. Yeah, I kinda found it out myself a bit the
                        other night when i wanted to test washing the silk in hot water. A
                        good bit of color came out.


                        Personally, from my lack of experience washing Silk in Hot water, I
                        know that Hot Water is "okay" for the Silk but not for the color.
                        =__=




                        That really may depend on the colorfastness of the dye used on the silk. I've washed several pieces of fabric in hot water after dyeing with Procion dyes (and after the excess dye was properly discharged) and got no loss of color or bleeding.

                        Mel


                        ---------------------------------
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                      • Thomasina Blonde-adill
                        This is a good thread! I ve had some silk questions to ask, and now I can ask them. :-) mellymel_hsv wrote: Hot water (as in however hot
                        Message 11 of 16 , Apr 8, 2008
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                          This is a good thread! I've had some silk questions to ask, and now I
                          can ask them. :-)

                          mellymel_hsv <mellymel_hsv@...> wrote:
                          Hot water (as in however hot your washing machine will get) is
                          perfectly fine for silks.

                          I have some seafoam-green Thai silk that I want to make a dress out of,
                          but I'm a little scared at the thought of washing it. We use cold water
                          in our washing machine, so that's no problem. What I'm wondering is,
                          can silk go through the dryer without any ill effects?
                        • mellymel_hsv
                          Thomasina Blonde-adill wrote: This is a good thread! I ve had some silk questions to ask, and now I can ask them. :-) mellymel_hsv
                          Message 12 of 16 , Apr 9, 2008
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                            Thomasina Blonde-adill <rebekahgoodwill@...> wrote: This is a good thread! I've had some silk questions to ask, and now I
                            can ask them. :-)

                            mellymel_hsv wrote:
                            Hot water (as in however hot your washing machine will get) is
                            perfectly fine for silks.

                            I have some seafoam-green Thai silk that I want to make a dress out of,
                            but I'm a little scared at the thought of washing it. We use cold water
                            in our washing machine, so that's no problem. What I'm wondering is,
                            can silk go through the dryer without any ill effects?



                            Most definitely! I got nervous the first few times I did it, but I've washed and dried silk velvet, silk brocade (with a metallic thread, the only thing it needed afterwards was a good ironing), silk crepe de chine, silk shantung (which would be similar to your Thai silk), silk noil, silk chiffon, linen look silk and silk habotai. About the only thing I won't send through the washing machine and dryer is something with a very high metal content, like the metallic crinkle "tissue" silk used for Arwen's Angel undergown and Chase sleeves. Or perhaps something with a lot of beads that could break or come off or embroidery that could possibly shrink and warp. If you're unsure, toss a small scrap (maybe 4-6" square) into a regular load and see what it does. I did that for the metallic brocade since I was worried about it warping too much.

                            One thing to note though is that you may (or probably will) lose some shine to the surface of the silk. The hotter the water, the more shine you'll lose. However, you'll gain a gorgeous drapey hand, especially from the dryer. Make sure to pull it out as it's just dry and don't let it sit in the dryer and form wrinkles. I actually use a textile detergent (Synthrapol) and fabric softener (Milsoft) for any yardage I wash. You can get both from Dharma Trading. Personally, I think they're well worth it. They're specially formulated to remove excess dyes and sizing or conditioners typically applied to yardage and restore a soft hand after the dyeing process. They're certainly not a necessity, but I really like having them around.

                            Mel

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                          • Sarah
                            I wash silk in the machine, gentle cycle, and it does lose some shine but comes out fine. I generally use the dryer only for a few minutes, on anything. I
                            Message 13 of 16 , Apr 9, 2008
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                              I wash silk in the machine, gentle cycle, and it does lose some shine
                              but comes out fine. I generally use the dryer only for a few minutes,
                              on anything. I tumble a piece of newly prewashed fabric just long
                              enough to shake out the wrinkles from the washer, but not long enough
                              to set in new wrinkles. If i want it really crisp I then iron it while
                              it's still damp.
                            • Aurora Celeste
                              ... Like anything, I advocate testing. It can be hard to tell weave quality of silks, but when it s washed you ll know. I ve had higher quality dupionis,
                              Message 14 of 16 , Apr 9, 2008
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                                On Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 7:56 AM, Sarah <sarahstrong13@...> wrote:

                                > I wash silk in the machine, gentle cycle, and it does lose some shine
                                > but comes out fine. I generally use the dryer only for a few minutes,
                                > on anything. I tumble a piece of newly prewashed fabric just long
                                > enough to shake out the wrinkles from the washer, but not long enough
                                > to set in new wrinkles. If i want it really crisp I then iron it while
                                > it's still damp.
                                >

                                Like anything, I advocate testing. It can be hard to tell weave quality of
                                silks, but when it's washed you'll know. I've had higher quality dupionis,
                                like Dharmas, come out just beautifully, while others, Fashion Fabrics Club
                                in particular, come out so rough and slubbed that they might as well be raw
                                silk. The difference is the quality of the silk they used to make the
                                threads and the thread count/tightness of the weave. So test a scrap first
                                to make sure it comes out like you want, or you might get stuck with
                                hobbit-looking silk for your elven gown.

                                ~Aurora Celeste


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Thomasina Blonde-adill
                                Wow, thanks for all this great advice! I had thought about testing a scrap before, but now I definitely will. It d be better to find out if going through the
                                Message 15 of 16 , Apr 9, 2008
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                                  Wow, thanks for all this great advice!

                                  I had thought about testing a scrap before, but now I definitely will.
                                  It'd be better to find out if going through the washer and dryer will
                                  totally wreck it <i>before</i> I get the dress all sewn up. :-P

                                  It's encouraging to know that many silks can be washed and even dried.
                                  I'm a bit bummed that mine might lose some shine, but maybe it won't
                                  since I'll be washing it in cold water.

                                  Thanks again, and I'll let you all know how it comes out.

                                  ~'Tom'~
                                • Cat Devereaux
                                  ... It d be better to find out if going through the washer and dryer will totally wreck it before I get the dress all sewn up. :-P Test is the big four
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Apr 9, 2008
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                                    >> I had thought about testing a scrap before, but now I definitely will.
                                    It'd be better to find out if going through the washer and dryer will
                                    totally wreck it <i>before</i> I get the dress all sewn up. :-P

                                    Test is the big four letter word around here. No one can guarantee the
                                    exactness. Your washing machine temperatures will vary. Your water's
                                    hardness/softness will very. And as mentioned, so with the quality of
                                    your silk. etc

                                    >> It's encouraging to know that many silks can be washed and even dried.
                                    I'm a bit bummed that mine might lose some shine, but maybe it won't
                                    since I'll be washing it in cold water.

                                    Some of that shine is just from the finish anyway. You get rid of the
                                    extra chemicals washing it. Washing it in cold and hanging it to dry
                                    will take the least shine out.

                                    -Cat-
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